Singer Youssou N’Dour, a hero in his native Senegal and a major figure in world music, is the subject of this 2008 documentary. Director Chai Vasarhelyi traces his music to the tradition of griot storytelling, recounts his professional rise, and notes his advocacy projects, such as the Roll Back Malaria Partnership. But the movie centers on the recording and reception of his Grammy-winning Egypt album, which honors the masters of Senegalese Sufism while tapping into the rich secular musical tradition of Arab pop musicians like Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum. N’dour’s concert numbers and family visits are captivating, but Vasarhelyi is so uncritical toward the singer that she inadvertently makes him look as though he’s running for sainthood. In English and subtitled French, Arabic, and Wolof. PG, 102 min.
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